“One-punch” assaults have claimed 90 Australian lives since 2000, mostly in alcohol-fuelled bashings.
In recent years, there has been a sudden increase in the number of one-punch attacks that are highly publicised across Australia.
In 2009, Jason Menzies, suffered a permanent brain injury after being assaulted while waiting for a taxi after a football game at Subiaco Oval. A medical report found that he had a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, frontal lobe damage and had lost his sense of smell. Following the assault, he also suffered from depression.
Daniel Christie, who was just 18, succumbed to a fractured skull caused by an alleged one-punch attack that occurred on New Year’s Eve at Sydney’s Kings Cross.
Thomas Kelly, also 18, died two days after he was punched once in Kings Cross in July 2012.
More recently, Thomas Keaney, 23, was purportedly punched once on 17 December 2013 in Northbridge. His condition deteriorated over the following week and he was placed on life support at Royal Perth Hospital before he died on 29 December 2013.
Whilst nothing will ever compensate the families of these young men for their loss, the following remedies may be available in Western Australia:
1. a compensation claim may be made under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA);
2. a common law claim may be brought against the offender under the Fatal Accidents Act 1959 (WA); or
3. depending on the circumstances, the venue or licensed premises may be liable.
Injury or loss of a partner or spouse often leaves families without the primary wage earner. Aside from the terrible emotional loss, families must also deal with the economic or financial consequences. The sudden injury or loss of a loved one can make it impossible for a family to make ends meet.
If you have any queries or questions in relation to a one-punch assault, please contact Tim Heard or Angus Castley by telephone or email, (08) 9316 2299, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.